80’s vs Today Teen Girls PE

Momservation: 1980’s teen girl: Give me big hair and AquaNet or give me death. Millennium teen girl: Give me my smartphone or give me death.

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I was inspired today by Victoria Fedden blogger at Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds who wrote this awesome flashback and hilarious flashforward: Back to School: The 70’s vs. Today, A Lot Has Changed.

Reading her take on Back to School in the 70’s took me right back to kicking back on our burnt orange shag carpet watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island reruns while wearing my Keep on Truckin’ tshirt, hand-me-down Dolphin shorts (now called “scoops”) with my striped tube socks, Adidas 3-stripe tennies and wanna-be-but-not-even-close Farrah Fawcett hair.tshirt

And today…well we’re living today and even I’m embarrassed by us and our hyper-vigilant, drone parenting society.

So why not take another trip down memory lane? I was just thinking how different PE is in high school from when I was a teen in the ’80’s as I drove a car full of 9th graders home in my dual-airbags, side airbags, back-up sensored, safety tank of a sport utility vehicle.

Let’s take a look:

1984’s high school freshmen girls P.E.:

  1. Dressing down meant putting on pastel pink sweats that cupped just over the knees. You have on your matching pastel print Local Motion t-shirt covered by your Esprit sweatshirt that you cut to look like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. You wore two pairs of knee high socks, one white, one pink scrunched down with your white Keds that you would later go home and re-whiten in a bucket of bleach.local motionflashdance
  2. You did not take off your wrist full of rubber black bracelets, your chunky pink bead necklace or your dangling earrings with hearts or stars.80's earrings80s necklace
  3. You thanked God and Madonna that there was no pool at your school or you would have had to forge a note to the PE teacher asking to be excused for the next three weeks due to an unusually long and excessive menstrual cycle (because there is no way you could satisfactorily put all that hair and make-up back together before the next class period).
  4. Spend the next 40 minutes doing as little as possible so your spiral perm hair didn’t frizz out, your sausage-curled feathered hair didn’t go flat, or your pancake thick foundation, Electric Blue eyeliner and mascara, and Frosty Pink lipstick didn’t smudge or smear. When the PE teacher turned her attention your way you pretended to engage in athletic activity before returning to a deadly serious debate on Duran Duran and which Taylor  was hotter, John or Andy, or if Simon Lebon trumped them all.Duran Duran
  5. Upon returning to the locker room you walked passed the showers that will continue to go another 20 years being unused to quickly changed back into your Guess pink pinstripe jeans with the zippers at the ankle (or pegged if not), two LeTigre polo shirts, one pink, one purple, both with the collars flipped up, and your LA Gear high tops with double socks two colors before fighting for mirror space.Guess jeansLA Gear
  6. Since there were never enough outlets for your curling iron you clicked on your butane curling iron, The Clicker. If it wouldn’t start you borrowed a new flint or refill butane from a friend. You repuffed bounce house sized hair then sprayed massive amounts of AquaNet (blue can for extra extra hold) oblivious to the ozone. Still jostling for mirror space, you touch up make-up without telling your frenemy that her unblended foundation that goes just to the edge of her jawline makes her look like she’s wearing a three shades darker make-up mask. Finish up with optional pink lace headband tied into a huge bow.ClickerAqua Net
  7. You gave Janine a note to give to Amy to give to Becky who has 3rd period with Johnny as you raced to the next class after the warning bell.

2014 high school freshmen girls P.E.:

  1. Have absolutely no hesitation getting into a Jolyn two-piece swimsuit for the swimming unit, believing your imperfect body to be absolutely beautiful because your parents have built self-esteem and reinforced positive body image messages by telling you every day of your life that you are perfect and wonderful.Jolyn
  2. Don’t worry about raccoon eyes because you don’t wear make-up because you agree with your family and friends who constantly remind you that you are beautiful enough without it (and you believe it because you always get at least 200 Likes on your Instagram selfies with comments like: OMG! Why are you so beautiful?! You are perfection!! U R life! Rate 10!).heart eye emoji
  3. Show off your butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke skills that you have honed after being on swim team since you were four (plus competitive soccer, gymnastics, softball, and lacrosse). While you’re waiting for the boys to catch up (in more ways than one) you have a serious debate about whether the homely looking guys in 5SOS who actually play instruments are hotter than the hot guys in One Direction who don’t.5SOSOne Direction
  4. Take a shower to rinse the chlorine out of your suit and hair, but you do it quickly to conserve water. You don’t need mirror space because you just grab the hair tie that’s always around your wrist content throwing your hair up into a perfect messy bun. At the last second you use your iPhone camera app to check your hair, then go ahead and take a selfie because you look so cute. For fun you make an ugly face and SnapChat it to 10 friends.
  5. Get dressed in scoops and an old soccer t-shirt or American Eagle cut off jean short with butt cheeks hanging out and a Forever 21 crop top tank that cost $6, is the consistency of tissue paper and, though new, looks like it has been washed 5,000 times. Wear no-show socks and low top Converse.teen outfitconverse
  6. Ready with plenty of time until the next period you text a dozen friends, check your Instagram for Likes, Twitter for new followers, and take a group selfie to put in your story on SnapChat.group selfie



    • kellimwheeler says:

      Thanks Michelle! Always kept an extra cannister and extra flints — to paraphrase Sixteen Candles: Big spiral curled hair was a priority in my life. 😉
      Thanks for checking in!

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